Latinos now make up the largest subset of federal criminal defendants, and they are increasingly victimized in many jurisdictions by the same forms of unconscious bias that have been identified in the treatment of other minorities. A public defender in Arizona argues the best way to counter it is by using “race-conscious” strategies.
Chesa Boudin, the city’s new reform-minded district attorney, has refused to charge a homeless man with assaulting police officers. A law enforcement group complains that Boudin has a “criminals-first agenda.”
Two dozen prosecutors have resigned from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office since Jan. 1, as paperwork required by a new state law drowned them in late-night work. A district attorney’s office spokesman says the lawyers left to accept better paying jobs.
Serious crimes rose in New York City after a law to free defendants awaiting trial took effect Jan. 1, says Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. Shootings, assaults, car thefts and robberies are up. Murders, rapes and hate crimes decreased, but serious crimes rose 16.9 percent in January.
George Richey, whose case led to a Missouri Supreme Court ruling last year that made it illegal to jail people because of their inability to pay for previous jail stays, is back in jail in another low-level case. He has filed a new lawsuit against the judge and sheriff.
When a wrongful conviction is the result of prosecutorial misconduct, the prosecutor and other authorities involved in the case are less likely to spend time or energy finding the perpetrators of the original crime, according to a study in the Crime & Delinquency journal.
“In what universe do you deserve to be sent to prison for 10 months for stealing $110 worth of groceries?” asked Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman about the sentence of cancer patient Ashley Menser for stealing groceries.
“Every single piece of evidence pointed to his innocence,” said an attorney for the Innocence Project. “And it was only through (an) unbelievably suggestive identification procedure that he was arrested [and] convicted.”